Breaking bread, Communion, Eucharist or Lord's Supper?

By Andy O'Connell

Breaking bread (aka communion, Eucharist, Lord's supper) is one of the few things that Jesus commanded the church to continue. It's no surprise then, that in every church tradition, it remains a key aspect of worship and shared life.

Because of the education and employment dynamics of Oxford city, a significant number of people join in at OCC each year, as well as people moving on. As new people join in, they often come from different church backgrounds, with different emphases and approaches to breaking bread, so we wanted to take a moment to explain how we do it in OCC. 

Body, we have no plan!

By Andy O'Connell

In our worship service yesterday, worship leader Chris Fulton said, at one point, "We have no plan! Over to you!" I don't know how you responded to that? Did you see it as an act of brave faith, or of reckless leadership?

"We have no pre-determined plan! Let's see what God does as we meet!" has long been a core practice of our sort of church. When I found myself becoming part of Oxford Community Church in the 1980s, it was standard practice to meet for 'body meetings'. 

Worship: unique and united

By Sanjay Mahtani

Throughout the summer, we have been so enriched by a series of sermons on the Psalms. Ruth Morton brought an invitation from Psalm 133, to be united, and to experience the rich blessings that God has for his people when we dwell together in unity. 

Just a few psalms later, David writes of the individual and intimate knowledge that God has of each one of us: "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether" Psalm 139:4 

Sanjay Mahtani

Sunday Recap - 26 July 2020

By Sanjay Mahtani

On Sunday 26th July, we gathered for a one-off Sunday service at The King’s Centre. If you missed it, you can catch up here

As we began our time together, Jenny Mahtani led us in a call to worship, bringing our emotions and hopes before God in worship - listen again from 6:24. 

Coming back to the heart of worship

By Andy O'Connell

One of the things we've seen in lockdown is that good relationships withstand separation.

You might have been unable to visit an elderly relative as they struggled to cope with isolation, or missed a good friend that you've longed to spend unhurried time with? Or perhaps you are one half of a love-struck dating couple that have not been able to see each other for ages!?

Withdrawal of 'visiting privileges' has been one of the human costs of tackling this virus, and as restrictions eases in the UK, we're rushing to reconnect with relatives, friends and 'significant others'.

Worship in lockdown

By Chris Fulton

Coronavirus has forced us to change a great number of things, one of which is the way that we worship together as a church. So many of the things we so easily took for granted are no longer in place for us - for now, we don’t meet in a building, or worship in the same place. We can’t see each other’s faces, or catch up over coffee in a busy throng of expectation before we come together to sing and praise. We lose out on depths of relational and non-verbal communication within our church family; we lack hands-on prayer ministry during times of response… the list goes on.

Participation is God's design!

By Andy O'Connell

If you've ever been to an OCC meeting, you will know that we value participation. We see gathered worship as a participatory thing, not simply a service to attend passively. Everyone gets to play a part; not just those on the rota for the morning! 

We draw this from the Apostle Paul's first letter to the Corinthians (1Co), which variously deals with various aspects of worship gatherings, including the Lord's supper (chapters 10-11), spiritual gifts in worship (12-14), preaching (1-2,9,15), baptism (1,10) and offerings (16:1-4).